March 2008
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Jet Air plans to dilute 10% stake

Jet Airways India ’s chairman Naresh Goyal is planning to dilute 10 per cent stake of the company in favour of foreign institutional investors and private equity players, K G Vishwanath, general manager-finance, said. “The decision was taken about three weeks ago,” Vishwanath said, but declined to disclose the price at which the stake will be sold. The stake sale will be conducted prior to the rights issue of equity shares through which the company plans to raise about $400 million. […]

BCCL acquires stake in Abbee Consumables

Bennett, Coleman & Company (BCCL) has acquired a stake in Pune-based Abbee Consumables and Peripherals Sshope (ACPSL). ACPSL's core business includes refilling inkjet and laser cartridges. In 2003, the company launched the first Indian retail chain/franchisee operation 'Abbee Sshope', dealing in branded printer cartridge refilling services. In addition to the refilling services, Abbee Sshope also serves as a one-stop shop for ITeS companies. B B Somani, CEO of Abbee Sshope, said, “This deal recognizes the potential of refilling industry in India. Presently the industry is fragmented in unorganized sector which does not have any accountability towards customers. Our retail chain is committed to fulfil the customers' demand for quality refilling at reasonable price. We are creating completely new ethos which will change the refilling industry in India.” […]

Religare to acquire UK broking co for $100 million

Domestic brokerage firm Religare Enterprises is close to acquiring London’s oldest broking firm; Hichens, Harrison & Co. The deal is expected to be announced by this weekend. The size of the acquisition is pegged over $100 million (about Rs 400 crore). For the half-year ended June 2007, Hichens, Harrison & Co — listed on the Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange —had reported revenues of £10.6 million and operating profits of £2.9 million. If successful, this would be first overseas acquisition by an Indian brokerage firm abroad. When ET contacted, Religare CEO and MD Sunil Godhwani said, “We are constantly evaluating opportunities to strengthen our business model both through organic and inorganic routes, especially for our institutional business.” The proposed acquisition is expected to give Religare a foothold in the extremely competitive international capital markets. The company, which currently has one of the largest retail networks among Indian brokerage firms, is now eyeing a strong presence in the institutional space. […]

Tano Capital makes $7.4M investment in India printing company

Tano Capital LLC said Tuesday it made a $7.4 million investment into Anil Printers Ltd. on behalf of Tano India Private Equity Fund I. San Mateo-based Tano said India-based Anil is a printing company that manufactures prepaid scratch cards, pin mailers, airline tickets, cargo bills, and carbon-less stationery for the telecommunications, banking, courier, and logistics industries. With this investment, APL plans to manufacture smart cards and RFID labels in technical collaboration with Mühlbauer High Tech International of Germany. […]

Trikona Capital scouting for funds

Fund manager Trikona Capital Ltd is exploring various options to raise funds to invest $1 billion annually in India over the next ten years, a top official said. “Trikona intends to raise the money through public and private equity from institutional investors. We are evaluating options. We will also pump money from sell downs back into the deal pipeline,” Managing Director Aashish Kalra told Reuters. Trikona is an India-focussed fund management firm and manages the 250-million-pound Trikona Trinity Capital Plc fund listed on London's Alternative Investment Market. The funds go into India's real estate and infrastructure sectors. […]

State Bank of India buys 91 pct stake in Global Trade Finance

State Bank of India (SBI), India's largest bank, said it has bought a 91 pct stake in Global Trade Finance Ltd (GTF), trade finance solutions provider, without mentioning the size of the deal. The bank — 59.7 pct-owned by the Indian government — said it has executed a share-purchase agreement with Exim Bank, FIM Bank Malta and International Finance Corp (IFC), the World Bank's private sector lending arm, to acquire their holdings in GTF. On Jan 24, the company said it intended to buy the stake for about 5.2 bln rupees. EXIM holds 40 pct of GTF while the Washington-based IFC holds 12.5 pct, FIM Bank has a 38.5 pct stake and India's state-run Bank of Maharashtra owns the remaining 9 pct. GTF reported a net profit of 288.7 mln rupees in 2007, a rise of 171 pct year-on-year. ( Forbes) […]

Private equity shuns listed firms

In spite of attractive valuations this year, Private Investment in Public Equity (PIPE) deals are increasingly falling out of favour as most deals sealed in this calendar year are in unlisted or privately held companies. Out of the 87 private equity deals that were struck in the first two months of this calendar year, only 10 were in listed companies. While some experts have been saying that there will be more PIPE deals as stock prices are now attractive, the numbers tell a different story. “At least for the first quarter of this year and the second quarter to some extent, PIPE deals will be impacted depending on how market conditions pan out,” says Arun Natarajan, founder and CEO of Venture Intelligence, a private equity and venture capital monitoring firm […]

Tata buys Jaguar Land Rover for $2.3bn

Tata Motors will buy luxury brands Jaguar and Land Rover from Ford Motor for $2.3 bn in cash. The purchase price is less than half of what Ford had paid for the two brands as demand for luxury vehicles has dropped the world over. The acquisition is the largest ever by an Indian company in the automobile space. Ford will pay about $600 mn to the Jaguar Land Rover pension funds, the two companies said in a joint statement today. Ford had bought Jaguar in 1989 for $2.5 bn while Land Rover was bought from BMW for $2.5 bn in 2000. The transfer of ownership to Tata Motors is expected to close by the end of the next quarter, subject to regulatory approvals. “We have enormous respect for the two brands and will endeavour to preserve and build on their heritage and competitiveness, keeping their identities intact,” Tata Motors Chairman Ratan Tata said. Alongwith the two brands the deal will involve acquisition of plants and Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) held by the two brands. Tata Motors did not mention the mode of financing the deal, but sources familiar with the developments said it would be done mainly through bridge financing from a clutch of banks, including JP Morgan, Citigroup and State Bank of India (SBI). The company is raising Rs 4,000 crore through issue of securities in the foreign and domestic market in one or more tranches […]

VC firms seek experts to give start-ups a leg-up

Electric car manufacturer Reva Electric Car Co. Pvt. Ltd breathes easier in five states—its users don’t have to pay road taxes on electric vehicles in states such as Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Rajasthan. In others, buyers of the electric car still have to shell out money that varies from an annual Rs5,000 to up to 9% of the purchase price. While a few states grant such exemptions towards non-polluting vehicles, “there is no uniform long-term policy in place,” rues Chetan Maini, deputy chairman and chief technology officer, Reva. The Bangalore-based company, funded by Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ) and Global Environment Fund, today exports some seven of 10 Reva-branded cars to other markets where regulations are friendlier towards environmentally “clean” transport, but would like India to be a larger market. It has been lobbying for government subsidies and exemption on road tax, value-added tax and excise duty, among other levies, by talking to the various ministries and government departments at both the state and national level. […]